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'40 Women To Watch Over 40' Honoree to speak at Leapfrog From Disaster Symposium

By A. Lira V. Luis posted 10-01-2014 01:12 AM

Melissa Sterry, this year's honoree in the 'Forty Over 40' List, will be a speaker in the Leapfrog From Disaster Symposium. describes the list as one that "recognizes both the wisdom that comes with age and the potential for later achievements. It rewards innovation and disruption." She is a "Design Scientist, and founder of Bionic City which seeks to answer the question “How Would Nature Design a City?’ and a collaborator in Leapfrog Project which works in partnership with organisations including American Institute of Architects (AIA International and AIA NY DfRR) and RIBA-USA to develop blueprints for rebuilding urban areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan," described by Whitney Johnson in the '40 Over 40 Asks' Blog.

The Leapfrog From Disaster Symposium will challenge Melissa as a speaker, to re-invent the post-disaster paradigm, going beyond current aspirations and expectations in post-disaster rehabilitation.

Organized and led by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)-USA and Leapfrog Project including the American Institute of Architects’ AIA NY Design for Risk and Reconstruction (DfRR) and AIA International, the symposium will be held in the Philippines on November 1 – 7, 2014 to bring together world-leading pioneers in Resilience, Architecture, and Ecology.

“Leapfrog Project’s role and potential for the Philippines is staked out, and a unique role for (Filipino) architects defined. (This) symposium will be hugely important as the one year anniversary of the disaster (Haiyan/Yolanda) approaches,” said USA Ambassador (ret) John F. Maisto, President of the US-Philippines Society.

“Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda was very devastating and horrible. Having witnessed its impacts firsthand and assisted in rebuilding, I saw the tremendous amount of work going on including all the help that’s happening around the world. I’m delighted to hear of the efforts being made toward this symposium. It sounds super special, positive, innovative, and I hope it will go a long way,” shared Billy Dec, The Whitehouse, US President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

Ultimately the Symposium aims to: Organize a genuinely collaborative post-disaster rebuilding initiative that utilizes wide-ranging local, national and international expertise, efforts, and resources to help Tacloban and its neighboring cities rebuild with resilience; Engage different schools of thought from design, science, technology and business, through interdisciplinary discourse and group activities both during and after the symposium; Birth a new school of architecture-and-design-thinking from the typhoon rebuilding efforts, which may inform future natural hazard resilience programs worldwide; Develop ecologically-friendly architectural solutions that help protect the rich biodiversity of the region and beyond.

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